Yngwie Malmsteen recalls his disdain for punk: “What the fuck is this? Why don’t you tune the guitar? Why do you sing like that?”

He also said that the genre “wore out” before 1991, seemingly missing out on three decades of punk music.

Shred guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has set out some bold proclamations in a new interview, stating both that he doesn’t follow trends, and that punk as a genre “wore out,” before 1991. He also recalled his disdain for what was musically fashionable across his career, instead choosing to carve his own sonic path.

Talking to Sonic Perspectives, the guitarist was asked about his approach to the shifting landscape of music trends. He responded: “The thing is that I’ve done this for such a long time, and I was a very accomplished musician already – very young, but very accomplished; I was in junior high, I think – when the first punk wave came, Sex Pistols and stuff, and I was going, ‘What the fuck is this? Why don’t you tune the guitar? Why do you sing like that?’

“And then, of course, that wore out, And then in 1991, the same exact thing happened again with the grunge wave.”

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He added: “So, obviously, as you might already have figured out, I’m not a follower – I don’t follow trends. If anything, I make trends; I don’t follow. And I’ve always been very clear in my vision on where I wanna go and what I wanna do. And my art is too important to me to dilute with trying to follow other things. So I just don’t do that.”

Malmsteen then stated that, relatedly, he didn’t want to “dilute” it with collaborations, either. Sonic Perspective asked if he would ever collaborate again with keyboardist Derek Sherinian or drummer John Macaluso. He clarified: “No, ‘cause I don’t collaborate with people. I write all parts… they were hired to record with me, then I wrote the parts and sounds and so forth.”

Malmsteen is speaking ahead of his new album, Parabellum. It’s his first in two years, following his 2019 blues record Blue Lightning. It will arrive on 23 July. Hear its most recent single Relentless Fury below.

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